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Weekend adventure on my pond


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Got a chance to get away last minute and take my nephews fishing this weekend on our property.  I love the fishing, but making the memories with family is the best part.  This is on a 53 acre private lake nestled in the Arkansas Delta with a bayou just over the levee, so we have lots of fishing options and also plenty of snakes.  I caught our first fish from the dock before getting on the boat.  This is a low profile dock we drag our jon boats up on top of, no roof, so we need to leave the plug out so they don't fill with water.  While pushing the boat off the dock, my nephew hollers "SNAKE!!", well, I instantly jump backward and see this guy.  Broad-banded water snake that was cut up a little from the boat dragging over him.  I was about to step on him before he yelled.  Well, he had a mouth full of something, so probably wouldn't have been able to bite me, but I wasn't taking chances.  Although not poisonous, the bite still hurts. 

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Well moving on, we both proceeded to land 3.5 pounders shortly thereafter.  

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Notice, I always carry my trusty "judge" for a snake gun.

This bream tried to swallow a topwater bigger than him.  

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Shot and killed this cottonmouth that came out to inspect our boat. 

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Another water snake on Sunday morning.  He just hung out right by the boat.  

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Well, I've hit my pic limit for now, I have some more to add later.  

All told, we got 57 bass, 5 crappie and one bream on the weekend.  I broke my AG Veritas MH rod trying to get unhung like an idiot and lost about 10 lures between us (very stumpy lake).  Made for a great weekend and a good time was had by all!  


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Caught most of mine on a yamamoto tate pencil topwater and zara spooks on Saturday when it was overcast.  The sun came out on Sunday and I was catching them on the KVD swim n shiner and various plastic worms.  

This guy had some black growth in his mouth, not sure what this is from. 

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Sorry about the bad pic above, camera on phone wouldn't focus right.  

We keep our 10-15 inch fish to keep the pond healthy and grow bigger trophies.  This is just a small sampling of what we kept.  Sure tasted good for dinner last night! 

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Broken rod (dangit!)

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fishing user avatarfishinfiend reply : 

dang that a great day

 

Hard to top catching bass AND killing snakes


fishing user avatarbuzzed bait reply : 

you remove the snake pics and broken rod pic and i could "like" your post.....  

great fishing though and i LOVE taking my nephew out fishing, nothing like it!


fishing user avatargardnerjigman reply : 

No need for snake pics sir!!! Lol. The pansy in me gets nervous. 


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 
  On 4/19/2016 at 11:39 AM, gardnerjigman said:

No need for snake pics sir!!! Lol. The pansy in me gets nervous. 

Lol, they are a part of it out there, it's why I always wear a gun when I go fishing....the fish in this body of water are worth it.


fishing user avatarBankbeater reply : 

Good job on the bass! I always hate fishing when I have to keep looking around for snakes.


fishing user avatarjbw252 reply : 

Congrats on some nice catches.


fishing user avatarHurricane reply : 

That's awesome...


fishing user avatarN Florida Mike reply : 

Cool story and pics 


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

So, I'm going to continue updating this thread with info and stories from my trips to the pond.  I've been working on statistics of our catch over the course of this year so far. Keeping tabs on how healthy my fish are.  I'm using a table of average fish weight for length I found in the lake management section of Bass Resource to calculate Wr* value or relative weight of the fish compared to the average weight for a bass that length.  A score of 100 on Wr value is actually better than average, the biologists who developed this table indicate that a score of 90-95 is actually closer to the real average.  I'm using these values to determine what actions (if any) need to be taken on management of the pond.  Currently, we cull everything in the 10-15 inch range to prevent overcrowding.  The body of water itself is 53 acres, so we need to cull around 1,000 lbs of bass per year to keep it healthy.  If I notice dips in Wr* value or if it is significantly better, we will make adjustments to the cull limit or even possibly stock additional forage.  My long-term goal is to produce multiple double-digit bass.  I've heard stories that the previous owners caught a few double-digits, but I'm not sure they're in there anymore due to inactive management for a few years.  There is potential we could add some outside strains (Florida strains, etc.) to help with genetics in the pond in the future, although I think there is some already in there.  

Here are my stats for 2016 YTD, keep in mind this is only what I recorded, some relatives did not record their catch, but that is probably 30 more maximum. This includes fish we put back that were over 15 inches.

Bass Total: 98

Average Wr* Value: 87.21

Average Weight: 1.19 lbs

Total Weight: 116.52

Total Fish with 90 or better Wr* value: 33

Best Wr* Value: 131 on a 13 inch 1.5 lbs. bass in March

Total Fish over 100 Wr* value: 10

Largest Fish recorded: 5.19 lbs. and 21 inches **There was a 23" fish caught, but it was not weighed or recorded

Fish below 80 Wr* value: 26

Lowest Wr* value: 65.71 on a 20.75" 3.45 lbs. bass I caught last weekend (I'm worried about this weight/length range not having enough of the right forage) This one is pictured in the first post on this thread.  

So overall, we still have some work to do.  A lot more to cull and forage to add.  The cormorants have taken a bite out of our gizzard shad population lately, but there's all types of forage available.

Known Species in the pond include:

Large Mouth Bass

Crappie

Channel Cat

Blue Cat

Bowfin

Bluegill

Gizzard Shad

I've caught one channel and no blues, not entirely sure the blues are still in there, but haven't really focused on catching one yet.  There are probably other types of bluegill in there as well, just haven't caught them all or observed them yet.  It is a fun process to learn everything about a body of water and make adjustments to help it get to where you want it to be.  Overall stats are pretty decent, really just below average and we have fish all over the charts, so some things are definitely going right.  I just need to nudge them a little more in the right direction.  Until next time, tight lines! 


fishing user avatargreggt4736 reply : 

Hog, as a duck hunter I wonder why cormorants are a protected bird. At times, I can watch 10 flights of a dozen+ cormorants pass the boat before I see a small flight of ducks. They are everywhere and it's sad to hear they're destructive yet still protected. I have heard of them covering places in white bird poo and causing general misery. Duck hunters would be glad to help with population control. However, congrats on an awesome weekend, always cool to take the young ones out and have a good time! About that bream that bit the lure, I like putting bream in the cooler that bite bass lures. Recently, I did this when one tried to eat a knockin' trap. If they can handle a bass lure they are BIG and good eating.  


fishing user avatarSenko lover reply : 

Do you put shotgun shells in the judge? That's one heck of a snake gun right there lol


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 
  On 4/23/2016 at 12:45 PM, greggt4736 said:

Hog, as a duck hunter I wonder why cormorants are a protected bird. At times, I can watch 10 flights of a dozen+ cormorants pass the boat before I see a small flight of ducks. They are everywhere and it's sad to hear they're destructive yet still protected. I have heard of them covering places in white bird poo and causing general misery. Duck hunters would be glad to help with population control. However, congrats on an awesome weekend, always cool to take the young ones out and have a good time! About that bream that bit the lure, I like putting bream in the cooler that bite bass lures. Recently, I did this when one tried to eat a knockin' trap. If they can handle a bass lure they are BIG and good eating.  

I think they've been protected so long that no one has really taken a look at their numbers lately.  I see them all the time duck hunting too.  And this place is also our duck hunting spot.  You can get a permit to shoot cormorants as a farm that raises fish, but we just shoot over their heads to run them off, problem is they keep coming back.  There's a reservoir nearby that uses propane cannons that go off every half hour to keep them away, not sure if that works.  I put that bream in our fish basket to use as catfish bait that night, but didn't catch anything with him.  He was a little on the small side to eat for me.  I think it was a fluke that he even got on that lure, lol.  

  On 4/23/2016 at 8:22 PM, Senko lover said:

Do you put shotgun shells in the judge? That's one heck of a snake gun right there lol

Yep!  I always use the 410 shells with it.  I got it to use as a snake gun.  


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Well, it has unfortunately been a very long time since I've been able to visit my lake.  Work, kids, and family stuff get in the way of fishing, but I don't mind the kids and family stuff so much.  I finally got clearance to make a trip out this weekend (will be leaving in about an hour to head that way) and I have a lot of new tackle to try out and can't wait!  The judge is packed, beer is iced down, new tackle sorted and ready and rod/reel setups fine tuned to perfection!  If I don't get a single fish this weekend I'll still be happy, but I hope to report a good catch back to you guys.  With the heat, it looks like I'll only be fishing morning and evening, but I can break up the day in the middle with a little 4-wheeler riding and shooting various weaponry.  Here's a satellite view of the lake and here's to hoping I can find a new PB this weekend! 

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fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

The weekend was a success!  I could have caught a lot more fish, but my nephews joined me last minute, so had to work with them a little bit to help them catch more - totally worth it.  I have two new favorite words:  "Whopper" and "Plopper".  This was my first time using the Whopper Plopper and let me tell you, it produces larger and more fish!  I caught 3 bass over 3 lbs each and a 4th 1.5 pounder in the course of an hour.  I had to make myself switch to other baits I needed to try out.  Also, there is a large risk of losing a crank like that in these waters due to the stumps, so I'm trying to take care of it and only use it in ideal spots.  The WP survived the weekend (after many trips to retrieve it in shallow waters with the boat) and I moved on to find some more new favorite baits.

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Next up on the list, we decided to spend the afternoon fishing the levee between the main fishing lake and an unstocked pond.  Fish over the years have swam through the pipe between the two when open and it makes for some pretty good fishing on the "other side".  So good in fact, there's not much difference between the two.  Pulled another 3 pounder out of the lily pads along with about a dozen other decent sized bass.  For this location, I switched to 40 lbs braid on a heavier rod setup and my AG 6500 C3.  Tied on an Owner beast screw lock keel weighted hook (size 4/0) and a Zoom Brush Hog and we're off to the races!  


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Slowly walked the brush hog through and over the lily pads and the bass just couldn't get enough of it.  I look over at my nephews, who have lighter setups and only one rod each, and notice their *** and gave one of them my setup.  He quickly proceeded to land more fish.  I offered to rig another one for my other nephew, but he opted to stay with his light spinning reel setup.  He didn't catch much more that day (Saturday afternoon), so he got bored and opted to start shooting things instead.  

Now let's move on to Sunday morning......We went to a different levee with a different smaller body of water on the other side.  This one had a nice break in the lily pads that provided the perfect opening for my other nephews lighter setup and he capitalized on it.  He pulled out about 8 bass in the matter of 45 minutes compared to just a few each for me and the other nephew.  They all came from exactly the same spot, nowhere else on the levee produced.  He absolutely slayed them!  

It started to slow down, so we were picking up to move back to the levee from the previous afternoon when the older nephew, who had been catching them that morning, told me he needed to go make a "deposit" back at the lodge.  Now I carry tp with me at all times, but this guy is very squeamish with stuff like that and just had to go back to the house (I know, I'm working on making him tougher in these situations).  To get back to the house, you have to take a boat down a boat trail, across a natural lake and down another boat trail, maybe a half mile in total.  So we send him on his way in the boat and continue to fish the dock and bank, only catching a few more.  We still have plans to go to the other levee before we leave, but we notice he is taking a very long time.  Eventually I realize we won't have enough time to hit the other levee before I need to start packing up, so we pile up everything on the bank where we can load it easily in the boat when he gets back.  Well, he's still not back and we don't hear him coming.  The cypress and tupelo trees are so thick out here, we can barely get cell service, so I'm starting to worry something happened to him.  Just then, we see him paddling the 20 foot extra wide beam duck boat around the corner with a little paddle.  He ran out of gas in the middle of the natural bayou lake and had to fight the wind to paddle and come get us.  

I calmly loaded the gear in the boat, went back and lifted the back hatch cover and switched gas tanks while he cursed and claimed he didn't realize there was a backup tank.  Fired it up and started heading back to the house.  We got halfway back across the lake when we ran out of gas again.  Now I'm good about watching the gas in my tanks and I knew I hadn't switched tanks since the last time I filled them.  Apparently, someone in my family had used up tank one and already switched to tank two.  So now we're paddling, but thankfully, we can stop at a little fishing dock and walk the levee the rest of the way back and get another small boat to tow it back.  

I still have a lot to teach my nephews, so I'm glad they come out with me.  I just think I was a lot more self sufficient when I was that age (16 & 18).  Oh well, I'll keep working on them.  They are definitely getting better and having fun doing it!  Will post more pics later when I can get more bandwidth.  


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

This is pond #3 on Sunday morning. IMG_0434.JPG


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Pond two, Saturday afternoon

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fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Sunrise over the bayou.  

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All told we caught about 30 fish this weekend, with 4 being over 3 lbs.   Starting to get too hot to fish down on the bayou, so may not be back for a while.  I would gladly go fish it every weekend, but it's time to take my family to the lake on the weekends to cool off (I'll just try to sneak in a little fishing while there).  Until next time, tight lines! 


fishing user avatarOlin reply : 

Looks like a great place to fish, thanks for sharing.


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

Been awhile since I've been back to the pond.  Gathered up a few good fishing buddies and my nephews this past weekend and headed out.  My nephews live a little closer than me, so they usually drive in and meet us.  This time, I had the opportunity to watch the older one play HS Football on the way down, so the younger one hopped in with us after the game and the older one came the next day after practice.  

This time was different because we are pumping water into the lake from the bayou.  The re-lift is right by our dock, so we barely left the dock because there was a feeding frenzy going on with all the new water being pumped in.  Right off the bat, one of my buddies caught a 4 lber and we hammered them all weekend.  As stated above, we keep everything in the 10-15 inch range to keep the fishery from getting overcrowded...well this is the first time we caught more over 15 inches than under.  Nothing huge, but a lot of good looking fish.  I think we totaled about 125 on the weekend, all bass.  Kept 45 in the keeper range.  First time down there for one of my buddies and he absolutely annihilated us all in numbers and size using a Crickhopper almost exclusively (guess what I'm buying next trip to Academy).  

I tried the lily pads again this time and couldn't get any production out of them.  It was sure hard to leave that dock where the water was pumping in though, so probably didn't give them a good enough try.  

All in all a great weekend, until this happened.  We wrapped up fishing and I was packing everything up and putting some extra poles away in the cabin.  Well, one of the poles fell over and the mini rat-l-trap on it snagged the bedspread.  While I was trying to free the front treble hook from the bedspread, the back treble broke from the hook keeper on the rod and the two remaining hooks on it slingshotted into my thumb and middle finger.  To further my frustration, my thumb and middle finger were on opposite sides of the pole I was holding, so I was trapped, stuck to the bed and around the rod.  So there I am, holding a rod with my free hand, bending over stuck to the bed with my other.  Thinking the hooks weren't that deep, I started trying to pull them out, let's just say that was a mistake!   The trebles on this thing were so small, they were deeper than I thought and well past the barbs.  Finally, someone walks past the door and I say "I need a little help in here, I'm stuck to the bed right now".  Well, this is the older man that takes care of the place and he goes and gets his snips.  We cut the line on the lure and carefully pull the rod out to remove it from the equation.  He then proceeds to cut the treble off on the thumb side and let me tell you, that tiny barb inside there made it feel like he was cutting off a chunk of my skin.  He started to go after the larger piece of the treble still connected to my middle finger, which was still connected to the bed.  At this point, I grabbed the snips because I didn't want to go through that again.  I finally managed to cut the hook free from the lure and decided to go in to the hospital.  As long as there was no movement in the hook pieces in my fingers, there wasn't any pain, but the piece left in my thumb was so small, there wasn't a good way to get it out without cutting my thumb open a little, so no option other than the emergency room on a Sunday.  

This is a small town in Arkansas, so there isn't much weekend staff at the hospital.  The doctor is obviously on loan for the weekend from their sister hospital in Little Rock because she is asking where everything is.  My saving grace is that the nurse on duty is a fisherman and has to walk the doc through the specifics of what to look for removing the smaller piece from my thumb.  Then we get to the larger piece and he uses his fisherman's technique to get that out.  You make a loop with some stout fishing line and cinch it down around the hook and slide it up through there against the barb.  It fills the gap and then a quick POP and the hook comes flying out.  This technique keeps the barb from ripping out more flesh and pops it right out.  The kicker is, he said if it wasn't for the little piece in my thumb, he said he would have just told me to go out to the parking lot and he would have removed it out there for free!  But I did have to get a tetanus shot, an antibiotic shot and an anti-inflammatory to be safe.  I told them I had no pain, but they wrote me a prescription for pain meds anyway (wonder why so many are hooked on them!).  To top it off, my buddies made me a little present when I got back.  I get in my car to back it up to the house for loading and guess what I see hanging on my rear view mirror?  Yep, that d**n rat-l-trap!  I never have had any luck with rat-l-traps in the past, now I just hate them!  

I will have more fish pics later when I can download them off my big camera, but here's a few from my phone.  

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fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 

A few more pics of the weekend.  First, the haul on the first day.  

I'll have to wait for others since these are so big. 

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The dock with the re-lift pump running.

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fishing user avatarroadwarrior reply : 

Are those bass?


fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 
  On 9/27/2016 at 4:05 AM, roadwarrior said:

Are those bass?

Yep.  

It's a wide angle lens I had to use to get them all in.  

Here's another angle. 

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fishing user avatarHog Basser reply : 
  On 4/23/2016 at 12:18 AM, Hog Basser said:

Here are my stats for 2016 YTD, keep in mind this is only what I recorded, some relatives did not record their catch, but that is probably 30 more maximum. This includes fish we put back that were over 15 inches.

Bass Total: 98

Average Wr* Value: 87.21

Average Weight: 1.19 lbs

Total Weight: 116.52

Total Fish with 90 or better Wr* value: 33

Best Wr* Value: 131 on a 13 inch 1.5 lbs. bass in March

Total Fish over 100 Wr* value: 10

Largest Fish recorded: 5.19 lbs. and 21 inches **There was a 23" fish caught, but it was not weighed or recorded

Fish below 80 Wr* value: 26

Lowest Wr* value: 65.71 on a 20.75" 3.45 lbs. bass

So above are my previous stats and I'll list stats from this last weekend below and then look at combined totals.  We only recorded 52 of our fish from the weekend to add to the stats.  Some of the larger ones didn't make it to the books and none of the ones below 10 inches made it in.  

So for last weekend, my average Wr* value is 91.02 - things are looking up! 

Average weight - 1.5 lbs. - getting better too!

Total weight - 78 lbs. on 52 fish recorded

Best Wr* value - 115.07 on a 14 inch 1.68 pounder

Total Bass over 100 Wr* value - 9

Total Bass with 90 or better Wr* - 30

Best Fish - 18.5 inch 3.97 lbs. with a Wr* value of 109.37

Fish below 80 Wr* - 7

Worst Fish - Worst Wr* was 64.64 on a 20 inch 3.03 pounder 

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Combined total Wr* average - 88.31, which is really good and getting better! 

That's on 153 recorded bass with a total combined weight of 204.27 lbs. and average weight of 1.34 lbs. 

I'm going to keep compiling stats to make sure we keep heading in the right direction, but I like what I see so far and I'm seeing better chances of growing some serious DD bass and I have a hunch there's a few in there I just haven't found yet.  

 

 

Average length is 13.9 inches.

Another lake pic from the dam side.  

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1999

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